As a Muslim, I knew that Arabic is the language of Islam and that learning it is essential to better understand my religion. Like most non-native Arabic speaking parents, I thought I’d be able to at least teach my child the Arabic alphabet and some vocabulary, but Allah SWT had bigger plans for us!
I started to use Arabic in my daily life with my child when she was baby. I particularly struggled to learn Arabic grammar rules as an adult, but practicing in daily was my solution. As i spoke more Arabic to my daughter, day after day, my level of Arabic proficiency increased – alhamdulillah!
You can read more about how mostly raising my child in Arabic boosted my own learning. To effectively acquire a language, it is really important to practice its 4 skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking! I wondered – why don’t we do this for Arabic?
We decided early on that we would raise our daughter speaking Arabic, even though it is not my native tongue. By speaking to her in Arabic, it became our daughter’s main language. Her father only speaks to her in Arabic and I switch between Arabic and French.
Here are the benefits I see for my Arabic-raised Muslim Kid:
1. Benefit in Qur’an and Du’a Recitation:
Since she has been exposed to Arabic from an early age, she already has the right pronunciation when she speaks Arabic. That’s why it is easier for her to recite the Qur’an, as well as the daily Islamic supplications.
For older children, I think that integrating more Arabic in their daily life through listening and speaking practice helps too.
2. Benefit in Islamic Sources Understanding:
Since Arabic is in our daily life and the Islamic Sources, Qur’an, ahadith of the Prophet SAW, tackle daily life topics, my daughter can already understand some Ayats (or parts of Ayats) of the Qur’an, some parts of ahadith and the supplications. Of course, I don’t pretend she won’t need explanations from scholars but she can already understand basics according to her young age.
3. Benefit in Islamic Education:
She directly learns about our religion in Arabic: we read the Prophets’ stories in Arabic, we speak about Allah and Its Creation in Arabic, we speak about the worship in Arabic (prayers, fast, Hajj, Zakat). Of course, this will increase her Islamic Sources (Qur’an and Ahadith) understanding at the same time.
4. Feeling closer to Allah and its Messenger SAW:
Finally, I think that speaking the language Allah chose for Islam makes my daughter feels closer to Him and the Prophet Muhammad SAW. We all try to explain about Allah and Prophet Muhammad SAW to our children from a young age. By introducing them to her in Arabic, the language of the Qur’an, we feel that this will help her understanding, as she grows older.
Are you speaking Arabic to your kids? What benefits do you notice?
Do you want to integrate more Arabic in your daily life?
Ummu Meriem from Arabic Seeds is a French native speaker raising a bilingual French/Arabic child with a focus on Arabic. Her journey to teach her daughter Arabic has helped her own Arabic immensely. Arabic Seeds provide free resources that can help your children learn Arabic, like The Arabic Story 1 and Workbook 1 with Audio, which tackle the basics to help your kids express themselves in Arabic. These will also be beneficial if you are not a native speaker.